I was so, so optimistic for 2011...
Maybe it was the elaborate New Years celebration or perhaps the fireworks. It could have been the fact that my sudden interest in professional sports was yielding magnificent results with every team I cheered for winning their prospective game. Yes, after the first week of 2011, I was pretty damn sure sparks were going to fly out of my rear end.
Well, you get the picture.
That's the thing about the happy. I get so caught up in it, so intoxicated and utterly glazey-eyed over it that it's sure to backfire.
And that's just what it did.
Last week started with my husband's car (truck, SUV, whathaveyou) deciding it wasn't going to be driveable. And the company that sold him his new engine (and their lovely warranty) had seemingly disappeared. Vanished into thin air. Oh joy.
Then, said husband woke up with a broken shoulder. Not really broken, but hurting enough to not be able to turn the pages of a magazine and certainly in too much pain to work pulling hose, putting on bunker gear or anything else that is required of him as a firefighter. So, home and rest it was.
Coincidentally, he already had an appointment with his spine doctor for a recurring disc issue, so at least he was being seen by someone...but as you may have guessed, life with a broken fireman is not so peachy. So. We got through the weekend, barely. After my requests to take him to the ER, he finally agreed to let me take him to the walk-in clinic Monday morning. He was given a sling, steroids, anti-inflammatories and instructions to rest. He's been doing that ever since.
Here's where it really gets good.
Katie had been complaining of a sore back all weekend. Well, being a 7-year-old girl and all, this was not unusual especially given that Daddy was getting a lot of attention for his sore shoulder. I rubbed baby lotion on her back at bedtime and gave in to her requests for extra snuggles, put her to bed Sunday night and thought everything was as normal as normal could be with her.
Monday she decided to go and get a fever. She complained of a little ear pain and I just so happened to have some leftover ear drops hanging around the medicine cabinet so I gave them to her. She felt better, she napped, played with her dolls, tortured her brothers and life was normal. Then her temperature got even worse. I kept her home from school Tuesday and by the evening, it was 103 with Advil.
Off I went to the walk-in clinic with my next victim, sure to get an ear infection diagnosis.
So wrong, I was!
Katie had a urinary tract infection, her kidneys were hurting . . . the lightbulb moment came and along with it a rather large dose of mommy guilt for not recognizing her symptoms earlier. Back pain...no appetite...urgency to "go." But she always is running to the bathroom...because she holds it too long. Oh dear lord.
I have had exactly 2 utis in my lifetime. 2. The reason that I know how many I've had is because both times I was in so much pain that I really thought I was dying. The first time it happened, I was in college. I really did think someone was using a voo-doo doll against me. The second time, I was pregnant. I'm pretty sure that I forgot about all the other discomforts of carrying an almost 10-pound human being inside of my body when I felt that pain. Nope, I'm absolutely sure I did.
So to have her diagnosed with an infection of that type, without her having told me of any pain, any frequent urination or painful urination, I was horrified. "My poor baby," I thought. "Had she been in pain and not felt it? Or not told us? Or does she just have a high tolerance for pain?" Her little body, fighting off this infection, without giving us any clues that we could have pieced together and had it make any sort of sense. And no, ear pain is not a symptom of a uti or a kidney infection.
I just felt horrible.
Worse than that, so did she. And so did my husband. Sleeping on the couch because our little munchkin needed to be "by mommy all the time" wasn't exactly making him feel loved. But I figured it would help his shoulder (being supported by all those pillows) and we'd both sleep better because a) I wasn't waking him up every 5 min to tell him to stop snoring, and b) he would be able to sleep on his back without his wife waking him up every 5 min to tell him to stop snoring.
You get the picture.
The week pressed on, taking its own sweet time that's for sure. At least it seems like that now. Now that it's Friday and I can look back and wonder just a few things about myself, my family and the way we deal with upheaval.
These are the things I've learned:
1. Kids are stronger than you think. Katie has been slowly but surely getting better and is back to bossing all of us around.
2. The rain sucks. Yes, I know I live in Washington and I'm supposed to love, love, love the rain (and for the most part I do, I really do). But when all you can think of is the movie A River Runs Through It when you go get the mail on the HILL you live on, and a river is running on not only 1 but both sides of your street, you must admit that it is time, goddammit, for it to finally stop raining. Or. Build an ark.
3. Crazy times are no time to experiment with new recipes. That's right. I got all ahead of myself and planned 2 weeks of meals last week. Last night's meal was supposed to be a delicious, comfort food casserole made of...chicken and potato chips. Well, did you know that when you cook potato chips (you probably don't know this because you're smart enough to have never tried this ridiculous undertaking), they smell and taste like burnt plastic? Oh yes. Oh sure, I could've bought some organic, non plasticy potato chips at Trader Joe's, but I was sticking to the recipe...ya know, because I'd never made it before. And it called for Ruffles.
Let's just leave it at this, the dog hesitated before eating the casserole leftovers that we put in his dish for a "treat," and my husband took one bite, put his fork down (yay! he can put his fork down without wincing) and said, "Honey, I'd rather eat tuna casserole than this."
Tuna casserole is on the DO NOT COOK, EVER! list in his book.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I feel a much-needed weekend coming on. I plan to lock myself in the bathroom with my good friends Cabernet, People magazine and enough Calgon to take me far, far away.